SIAG Germany law Pave Philippine - German Dual Citizenship starting 2015

DFA PH and German Passports
Image source: gov.ph

Effective December 20, 2014, children born in Germany after January 1, 2000, to parents who, upon said birth, 1) were both foreigners and 2) one parent has stayed in Germany legally for eight years, and 3) the child has grown up in Germany, can now opt for both German citizenship and the citizenship of their parent's country when they turn 21. Previously, children born to foreign parents had to face the difficult decision of choosing only one citizenship upon reaching 21. For those who were born of Filipino parents, this meant choosing German citizenship over Filipino citizenship.

The amended German citizenship law, the German Nationality Act or StAG, has now abolished the exclusivity rule that obliged children born in Germany of foreigner parents to choose one citizenship over the other citizenship (Optionspflicht). Children born of foreigner (non-German) parents in Germany after January 1, 2000, can now have both citizenships. However, one condition states that they should have grown up in Germany. This means they have been in Germany for eight years or attended a school in Germany for six years, or graduated from school or occupational training in Germany.

The same exemption from the obligation to choose is applicable to those children of foreign parents who were born in Germany between January 1, 1990, and December 31, 1999, and were naturalized, becoming German citizens in the year 2000. For them, they are likewise no longer obliged to choose one from both citizenships and can therefore retain their dual citizenships provided they grew up in Germany.

The changes to the citizenship law will not affect the current rule in the Philippines that children born of mixed marriages (ex. Filipino-German) are entitled to both citizenships (dual citizenship by reason of blood).

Thus, aside from the usual dual Filipino-German citizens, born of mixed Filipino and German parents and who are therefore both Filipinos and German by birth, there is now a newer group of dual Filipino-German citizens. They are those born of Filipino parents, or of a Filipino parent and a non-German parent.

Philippine Ambassador to Germany Melita Sta. Maria-Thomeczek applauded the recent amendments to the German law. Ambassador Thomeczek stated that "the changes to the immigration law are important in ensuring that Germany continues to be an open and multicultural society. It is especially important that Filipino-German youth, many of whom continue to closely identify themselves with the Philippines, are able to stake their claim to their parent's homeland. No difficult decisions will have to be made—the only decision they will have to think about it is when to renew their Philippine passport!" - dfa.gov.ph


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